Social Security FAQs
Students Loan FAQs
The New Pension Scheme FAQs
Biometric Registration FAQs
- What is Social Security?
Social Security is a public measure or programme to provide income protection for its members in the event of certain occurrences as Old Age, Invalidity, sickness or Death of a breadwinner. It is also a State assistance to those lacking in economic security and welfare.
The main form of benefit provided under a social security package is therefore money or healthcare to the beneficiaries. The money or the income is to assist the beneficiary who as a result of total disability or sickness or old age cannot continue to work to earn a living.
It is also important to note that social security replaces only part of a beneficiary's earning prior to the occurrence of the event. Social security is only a form of assistance and it cannot provide for the total income needs of a person who has suffered a loss of income due to any of the contingencies under social security.
- Why should society be concerned with Social Security?
Social security is so important that it is considered essential for society to ensure that its members have it. Because of the pressure to provide for our immediate needs such as food, clothing and shelter very few people will under normal circumstance plan to set aside money to take care of future health bills and provision for old age.
However, the uncertainity of the future is real.
In the face of this reality, society and governments the world over recognize the need to institute a public programme to ensure that citizens provide for their future income needs.
In the absence of social security, citizens who suffer loss of income face severe hardships, and some become an embarrassment and nuisance to the society.
The active involvement of society and specifically government in the provision of social security ensure that vulnerable groups are adequately covered in any social security arrangement.
- What types of Social Security Schemes are available?
There are three major Social Security Schemes and all have their qualifying conditions.
a) In a Welfare Scheme where the state provides income out of general taxation , people have to show or prove that they need support from the state to survive. A welfare scheme normally provides for the vulnerable groups.
b) In a contributory social insurance scheme, contributors have a right to benefit by the mere fact that they are contributors and they satisfy the qualifying conditions. The members are paid benefits out of a pool of funds they have contributed to.
c) A non-contributory scheme under which citizens may be entitled to income protection as a result of certain occurrences in life.
In addition to these three schemes which are primary and national in scope, there are supplementary retirement income schemes operated by employers for their staff. It may be totally or partially funded by the employer. Such employer-assisted schemes are industry or employment specific and the schemes have their own qualifying criteria.
The benefits provided under employer-assisted schemes are exclusively for persons in that industry or employment. An example of such an employer-assisted scheme is the Pension Scheme provided for some pensionable officers in the public service normally referred to as CAP 30.
Thirdly, Insurance companies and some private fund managers provide private pension schemes. Under the private pension arrangements, an individual contributes to a private pension fund which will give him a benefit under specified condition.
- Who are the providers of Social Security in Ghana?
The providers of social security in Ghana are:
a) The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) which operates a contributory social insurance scheme for its members. Membership of the scheme cuts across workers from the public and private sectors and self-employed persons.
b) Government as an employer provides pension for members of the security agencies, judges and some pensionable officers in the public service.
c) Additionally, some employers have supplementary retirement income schemes for their employees. Employees in such organizations therefore draw their primary or basic social security benefit from SSNIT and additional retirement income from the employer assisted schemes.
d) There are also some insurance companies which offer personal pension schemes to individuals. The personal pension schemes are fully funded and managed privately.
- What is the SSNIT Pension Scheme?
It is a social insurance scheme under which members contribute monthly or periodically and receive a benefit as and when they qualify. The scheme is therefore contributory.
Benefits provided under the SSNIT Pension Scheme are:
· Old Age Pension
· Invalidity Pension
· Survivors' Benefit
· Health Insurance Benefit
- What does SSNIT do?
SSNIT has a primary duty to collect contributions to pay pensions and other benefits as they fall due. In carrying out this primary responsibility the Trust undertakes the following specific duties:
· Register all employers and issue each of them with social security numbers.
· Register all members and issue each of them with individual social security number and a membership certificate
· Collect contributions of members and compile relevant data related to the contributions.
· Maintain and update personal and financial records on members.
· Process benefits for members as they fall due.
· Manage and invest the social security funds.
- Who can be a member of the scheme?
Every one can be a member. It is mandatory for employers to ensure that all workers in their employment are registered. Even if an organization employs one worker, that worker should be registered and contributions paid on his behalf. The only exceptions are:
· Lecturers in the universities
· Personnel in security institutions
Self-employed persons can also join the scheme as voluntary contributors.
- What is a social security membership certificate?
A Social Security membership certificate is issued to a registered member of the scheme to certify that he is a member of the scheme. The certificate has on it, a member's name and a social security number.
- What happens if i lose my membership certificate?
If a member misplaces his membership certificate he should contact the nearest SSNIT Branch Office for a replacement. The membership certificate is not transferable. If it is defaced or you lose it, contact SSNIT for replacement.
- Can somebody use my social security number?
No. A membership certificate is not to be transferred. A membership certificate is a document issued to an individual to certify that he is a member of the social security scheme and therefore should not be used by more than one person.
- How is the scheme financed?
The social security scheme is financed from the contributions of members and the investment income on the assets held by the Trust. The contribution rates of the members of the scheme are as follows: Workers - 5.5%, employer - 13% making a total of 18.5%. However, if a member is self-employed then he or she will contribute a total of 18.5% of his earnings to the scheme.
- Why does ssnit not pay interest on contributions?
Until 1991 SSNIT operated a Provident Fund which was more of a savings scheme and interest was therefore paid on the accumulated contributions of a member.
However, the current scheme is a pension scheme and it operates on the principles of insurance. In insurance, what is important is for a member to make a minimum contribution and meet the qualifying conditions and be entitled to a benefit.
For instance, a member who has contributed continuously for the last 12 months and has been a member of the scheme for three years will be paid a life long invalidity pension in the event of him becoming invalid.
Similarly, a member contributes 17.5% of his salary for a minimum of 20 years aggregate but will be entitled to 50% of his best three years salary till his death.
Under the survivors benefit the nominees of a deceased member who contributed for even one month could be entitled to 12 years pension.
These benefits are clearly more than what an interest can provide.
- Can a member withdraw part of his contribution?
No. A member cannot withdraw part of his contribution because again it is not a saving scheme.
The contributions have to be made over a period of time and invested to enable the scheme pay out the benefits guaranteed under the scheme.
In effect if part of the accumulated contributions is withdrawn, the assets of the scheme will be reduced and it will be impossible to provide the benefits promised.
- Update of personal records
a) Do you have to inform SSNIT if you change your name?
Yes. Any member who changes his or her name should contact the nearest SSNIT Branch Office for the change to be effected on his personal records at SSNIT.
b) Do you have to inform SSNIT when you change your address?
Yes. If you change your address please inform the nearest SSNIT Branch Office for the change to be effected on your personal records.
c) Can you change your date of birth with SSNIT?
No. This is because dates of births do not change. However, if there is evidence of a genuine error in capturing a date of birth, a change could be effected.
d) What is social security nomination?
Social Security nomination is a process whereby a member indicates to SSNIT how his social security entitlements should be distributed on or after his death. Nominations made can be changed if a member so desires. However, any change made on a Member's Update Form should be in the custody of SSNIT before the member's death.
e) What happens if a member fails to make a nomination before his death?
His dependants may apply to the court for the interstate succession law to be applied for the distribution of his social security benefits.
f) How often can a member change his beneficiaries?
As often as possible.
g) How can I update my personal records?
You can update your personal records – change of name, change of address, social security nomination by filling a Membership Update Form which is available at any SSNIT Branch Office.
The form should be endorsed by an employer and/or a some public servant and returned to SSNIT for the update to be done. Update form not in the custody of SSNIT is not valid for use by SSNIT.
- Benefits & qualifying conditions
i) What are the benefits under the SSNIT Pension Scheme?
The Benefits are:
· Old Age Pension
· Invalidity Pension
· Survivors' Benefit
· Health Insurance
ii)What are the Qualifying Conditions of the Benefits?
(a) Full Pension
To qualify for a Full Pension,
- You must be 60 years and
- You must have made a minimum contribution of 240 months in aggregate.
(b) Reduced Pension
To qualify for a Reduced Pension,
* You must be 55 and above but below 60 years of age and
* You must have made a minimum contribution of 240 months in aggregate.
(c) Basis for Calculation of Old Age Pension
The following factors are taken into consideration:
ii) Average of your three (3) Best Years Salaries
iii) Earned Pension Right – Number of months you have contributed to the scheme
You can earn a pension right between 50% and 80% depending on the number of months contributed at the time of retirement. A minimum contribution of 240 months gives a pension right of 50% and every additional month attracts an additional percentage of 0.125%.
(d) To Calculate Your Pension
Multiply the average of your best three (3) years salaries by your pension credit earned.
For early retirement from ages 55 to 59 an applicant will receive a reduced pension as follows:
% of Full Pension :
(e) 25% Lump sum Payment Option
Whether you qualify for a full or reduced pension, you may request for 25% of your 12 years pension as a lump sum. This will be paid to you at the present value using the prevailing treasury bill rate as discount factor.If you so opt, however, you will then receive a residual pension.
(f) Return of Contributions
Where you have not made the minimum contribution period of 240 months but have qualified by age, you will be entitled to a lump sum payment of your total contribution with interest.
(g) How to Apply For Benefit
· Inform the nearest SSNIT Branch Office at least three (3) clear months before your retirement.
· The SSNIT Branch Office will later on supply you with Pension Payment Application Form for completion.
· Complete the form and attach three (3) of your recent passport-size photographs.
· Where available, let your employer endorse the form.
· Submit your completed form to the SSNIT Branch Office as early as possible.
· SSNIT will advise you to collect your monthly pension at a bank of your choice after the claim has been processed.
iii) How long will your Pension Payment Last?
iv) What are the qualifying conditions for Invalidity Pension?
(a) To qualify for invalidity Pension
· You must have made a minimum contribution of 12 months within the last 36 months and
· You must have been declared permanently invalid and incapable of any normal gainful employment:
- By a qualified and recognized medical officer and
- Certified by a Medical Board
(b) How to Apply For Invalidity Pension
· Report to the nearest SSNIT Branch with a Medical report from a recognized Medical Practitioner certifying your incapacitation.
· You will be made to appear before a Medical Board for examination.
· Where the Medical Board confirms your incapacitation, you will obtain Social Security Application Forms from the Branch Office.
· Complete the forms and attach three (3) recent passport size photographs.
· Where applicable, let your employer endorse the forms.
· Submit your completed forms and photographs to the SSNIT Branch Office as early as possible.
· SSNIT will advise you to collect your monthly pension at a bank of your choice after processing the claim.
(c) Calculation of Invalidity Pension
After you have been certified invalid you will be entitled to a pension as follows:
· If you have made the minimum contribution of 240 months or more, you will be entitled to your earned pension.
· If you have not made the minimum contribution period, you will receive a pension based on a pension right of 50% of the average of your best three years salary.
v) When is the survivors' benefit paid?
This benefit is paid to dependants of members under the following conditions:
· When the member dies before retirement.
· When the member, while a pensioner, dies before attaining age 72.
(a) Calculation of Survivors' Benefit
This benefit is computed as follows:
· Where a member dies having satisfied the minimum contribution period of 240 months, in aggregate, a lump sum payment of the earned pension of the deceased member for a period of 12 years will be made at the present value using the prevailing Treasury Bill Rate as discount factor.
· Where a member dies prior to satisfying the minimum contribution period of 240 months, in aggregate, 50% of the average of the best 3 years salary pension for the next 12 years will be paid at the present value based on the prevailing Treasury Bill Rate as discount factor.
· Where a pensioner dies before attaining age 72, a lump sum payment based on the present value of his unexpired but not exceeding 12 years pension will be made to his beneficiaries.
(b) How to Apply for Survivors' Benefit
Report the death of a member to the nearest SSNIT Branch Office with any two of the following evidences of Death including a letter from the employer.
i) Death Certificate
iii) Burial Permit
iv) Medical Certificate
v) Letter from Employer where available
vi) Funeral programme
vii) Affidavit from Chief of Village or Town
On receiving information of the death of a member, SSNIT will request the nominated dependant(s) to apply for the benefit.
A dependant(s) may call at SSNIT Branch Office to collect, complete and submit an Application Form to which he will attach the following:
- 1) Three (3) recent passport-size photographs
- 2) The Membership Certificate of the deceased if available.
- 3) SSNIT will process the application and a lump sum payment will be made.
- Why can't ssnit reduce the retirement age to 55 or 50?
The compulsory pensionable age of 60 years was determined based on the country's life expectancy. Currently, life expectancy at birth is 58 years and the trend indicates that it is increasing. Therefore medically there is no justification for reduction in the retiring age.
Financially, a reduction in the compulsory retirement age is costly. The financial calculation of the scheme was based on 60 years. As a result, any reduction in the number of years to qualify for a benefit will increase the amount of money needed to fund the benefits. For instance at 20% interest rate, a reduction in 5 years will increase the cost of benefit three times. So, if at the current compulsory age it cost ¢3 billion, it will cost ¢9 billion to pay the same benefit over a specified period.
- What determines the size of benefits?
The SSNIT scheme is earnings related and generally members with higher salaries receive higher pensions or benefits for the dependants in the event of death of a deceased member. It is also important to note that a pension is a replacement of part of an income and therefore cannot be more than an income a member earned prior to retirement. Additionally, the SSNIT scheme has an inherent mechanism for reviewing pensions every year.
- Do you need a lawyer to claim your social security benefit?
You do not need a Lawyer to claim a social security benefit. However, for the survivor's benefit, where a deceased member did not provide for his spouse and children they may apply to the court for consideration for the distribution of his social security benefits in which case such interested parties may engage the services of a Lawyer at the court.
- What Is The Students' Loan Scheme?
The Students' Loan Scheme is a financial arrangement under which Ghanaian Students enrolled and pursuing approved courses in tertiary institutions in Ghana are granted loans to assist with the financing of their education.
- Purpose of the Loan?
Essentially, the loan is meant to supplement the students' own private resources, such as the financial support parents already give them.
- The Loan Levels?
The loan level to be granted in each academic year is determined by Government in consultation with Tertiary Students' Representatives and SSNIT.
- What is the status of loan disbursements to students by
SSNIT has since 2006/2007 academic year stopped granting loans to fresh students.
This responsibility has been taken over by the Students Loan Trust Fund.
However SSNIT still continues to grant loans of GH¢400.00 per year to continuing students who were loan beneficiaries before 2006/2007 academic year (i.e. students undertaking long duration courses eg. Medicine, Engineering, Architecture etc.) This will eventually end in year 2013.
- GUARANTOR REPLACEMENT : What happens to a guarantor who is retiring even though the student is yet to complete his/her course of study?
The student can replace any of his/her guarantors when he is still in school, provided the incoming guarantor meets the qualification to guarantee;
Has not guaranteed for more than two loan beneficiaries already. He/she completes Form SL.3.
A guarantor with five years contributions can guarantee for only one student.
- Can I replace a guarantor after school even though I am still unemployed?
You are allowed to replace a guarantor within two (2) years after completion of school.
- REPAYMENT : When can I start repayment of my loan?
As soon as you are in a position to do so after completion of your course of study, i.e. when you are gainfully employed. However, when you fail to pay back the loan, SSNIT is authorized by law to deduct the loan from your contributions.
Where the loan beneficiary is employed by a non-contributory organisation, the employer is also enjoined by the Student Loan Law to deduct the loan and pay same to SSNIT within fifteen (15) days after deduction.
- How can I repay my student loan?
Request for your loan balance at any of the SSNIT Customer Care Units at our Branches throughout the country, the Students Loan Department at the SSNIT Head Office (Pension House) behind the National Theatre, Accra by phone, and online through the internet (email@example.com).
Basically the total loan is the principal and your portion of the interest which is currently 10%.
- What are the repayment options?
The options for repayment are:
a) Cash - outright or installment (if by installment, you pay a third at a time)
b) Use of Social Security contributions.
c) Deductions from the guarantor(‘s') benefit.
- How do I re-pay my loan with my Social Security contributions?
Make a formal request to the Students Loan Manager when you want to use your contributions to repay your loan. If the total contribution in your account is sufficient to clear the total loan then all the three guarantors will be released.
Where your total available contribution is not enough to clear your total loan, you need to state the guarantor(s) to be released. These requests can be posted to the Students Loan Manager, SSNIT, P O Box MB 149, Ministries, Accra,
or deposited at any SSNIT Branch or submit the letter directly to Students Loan Department or online.(firstname.lastname@example.org)
- As a guardian or a parent, can I request my ward's loan to be deducted from my contributions upon failing to repay even when I did not guarantee for him/her?
No! A guarantor or any other person's contributions cannot be attached by SSNIT for the purpose of Student loan repayment.
- However, one may authorize SSNIT to deduct a portion or the total loan from his Pension benefit upon retirement.
- Another option is to replace the guarantor.
Beneficiaries of deceased borrower or guarantor may also authorize SSNIT to deduct the total loan or 1/3 portion form their survivors benefit.
- I repay my loan if resident outside Ghana?
Yes! Through the Ghana International Bank/London, U.K using the following details:
Ghana International Bank, 1st Floor, 10 Old Broad Street, EC2N IDW, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7653 0350 or 0845 6058 004
Fax: +44 (0) 207248 2929
In the UK:
SORT CODE 70-06-13
GBP ACCOUINT NO. 01483704
In the USA you may pay/wire/transfer to:
J P Morgan Chase
IBAN GB77 GHIB 7006 1301 4837 05
SWIFT CODECHA S US33
FEDWIRE: No. 021000021
ACCOUNT NAME: GHANA INTERNATIONAL BANK
SSNIT ACCOUNT NO. 01483705
- GUARANTOR RELEASE : How do I get my guarantors released?
Guarantors will be released only when a loan beneficiary fulfills all obligations to the Trust.
- However when a loan beneficiary makes one-third payment of the total indebtedness one guarantor will be released.
- Two-thirds payment, two guarantors will be released.
- Full payment, all three guarantors will be released.
- A Release of Guarantor Letter will automatically be issued as certificate of discharge from student loan obligation.
- INTEREST CHARGED ON LOAN : Why does the student loan attracts interest immediately the first installment is disbursed?
SSNIT as Administrator of a Pension Fund sustains the payment of pension and the other benefits by investing all monies contributed into the Pension Fund. The Trust's contribution towards the Students Loan Scheme was purposely to invest some of its fund to generate interest for the payments of benefits to its members. Therefore, the moment the cheque for the initial installment is sent to the student's bank, interest starts to accrue using the date the bank received the cheque.
- Why does the loan indebtedness keeps changing when you call at different times for your loan balance (eg. June 2010 and August 2010)?
The student loan attracts a compound interest rate based on the prevailing Treasury Bill rate. The student borrower pays 10% and the Government of Ghana pays the difference between the 10% and the prevailing Treasury bill rate.
The student borrower's portion of the interest rate of 10% is calculated and spread over twelve months. Therefore, your loan balance given to you on August 31, 2010 is your loan balance as at July 31, 2010 and will increase if you come to pay in September, 2010. This is because August 2010 interest will be added to give you your new/current loan balance as at August, 2010.
- Where To Get Help or Advice?
For further information, please contact:-
SSNIT PENSION HOUSE,
P.O. BOX MB 149, MINISTRIES, ACCRA
TEL: 0302- 667731/4-9, 668663-5 EXT. 3027, 3028, 3032, 3033
HOT LINE: 0302- 6697977/667738
THE CORPORATE AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT, SSNIT PENSION HOUSE,
POST OFFICE BOX MB 149, MINISTRIES, ACCRA
Tel: 0302 667742/663877/668670-6
Fax: 0302 662226/667743
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK: Tel: 0302 668682, Fax: 0302 669681
- Where is the location of the Students Loan Trust Fund?
The office is located at Asylum Down
, near High Gate Hotel.
The telephone number is 0302 231886/7.
- What is this new Pension Scheme?
The new National Pension Scheme was instituted by the National Pensions Act, Act 766 which ensures that every Ghanaian worker receives retirement benefits as and when due.
The Act 766 which was passed on December 12th, 2008 mandated the establishment of a new contributory Three-Tier Pension Scheme with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to oversee the efficient administration of the composite pension scheme
The New Pension Scheme was launched on 16th September, 2009 and its implementation started in January 2010.
- Why the New Pensions Act, 2008?
- To provide pension benefits to ensure retirement income security for workers.
- To ensure that every worker receives retirement benefit as and when due.
- To establish a uniform set of rules and standards for the administration, payment of retirement and related benefits for workers.
- What is The 3-Tier Scheme
The First Tier is the Basic National Social Security Scheme for all workers in Ghana. It is a defined benefit scheme and mandatory for workers to have 13.5% contributions made on their behalf. The contribution is managed by SSNIT.
The Second Tier is a defined contributory Occupational Pension Scheme mandatory for workers with 5% contribution made on behalf of members. The contribution is managed privately by approved Trustees.
The Third Tier which includes all Provident Funds and all other Pension Funds outside Tiers I and II is a voluntary scheme.
- What are the contribution rates and how are they distributed between the Employer and Employee?
Worker - 5.5% of workers' basic salary
Employer - 13% workers' basic salary
Total - 18.5% of workers' basic salary
- Out of the 18.5%, employer remits 13.5% to SSNIT within 14 days following the end of the month to the mandatory First-Tier Basic Social Security Scheme.
- Again out of the 13.5% paid to SSNIT, 2.5% is sent to the NHIA for the member's health insurance.
- The residual 5% is sent to the mandatory Second Tier Occupational Scheme which will be privately managed by Trustees approved and licensed by the Board of NPRA.
- Who can become a member?
The 3 –Tier scheme covers all workers in both the private and public sector. It is optional for the self-employed.
- Cap 30
- Teachers' Pension Ordinance
- Superannuation of Ghana Universities Staff
- Ghana Police
- Immigration Service Persons
- Prisons Service
- National Fire Service
- Who is exempted from the Act 766?
- Officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces
- Categories of persons exempted by the 1992 Constitution. e.g. Electoral Commissioner, CHRAJ Commissioner, Chief Justice, etc.
- What are the features of the scheme?
- It is a 3-tier scheme.
- The first two are mandatory for all workers.
- The Third-Tier is a voluntary, fully-funded by members and a privately managed provident fund and personal pension scheme.
- SSNIT pays only the monthly pension of the beneficiary and the Fund Managers who manage the Second Tier with the 5% contribution rates will pay the lump sum.
- The Act is for both the public and private sector workers.
- Minimum contribution rate – 18.5% of the approved monthly minimum wage (13.5% - SSNIT 1st Tier; 5% - 2nd Tier).
- Maximum Contribution – a maximum amount will be determined by SSNIT in consultation with the NPRA periodically. Currently, the maximum contribution is on a salary of GH¢20,000.00.
- Minimum contribution period is 180 months in aggregate or 15 years.
- Entry age/Maximum Age – New minimum age is 15 years and the maximum age for a new entrant is 45 years.
- Age Exemption – those who were 55 years and above before the commencement of Act 766 were exempted from this new scheme. On the other hand, a person who is 55 years and above exempted from the Act may opt to join the scheme.
- The new scheme includes almost all the various pensions systems in the country.
- What are the benefits under Act 766?
There are three (3) benefits under the scheme:
- Superannuation Pension
- Invalidity Pension
- Survivor's Lump Sum
- What are the qualifying conditions for the Superannuation Pension?
Under the Superannuation Pension we have Old Age Pension and Reduced Pension.
Old Age Pension
- Must be at least 60 years
- Must have made a minimum of 180 months (15 yrs) aggregate contributions.
- Must be 55 years and above, but below 60
- Must have made a minimum of 180 months (15 years) aggregate contributions.
Basis for Calculation
- Average of best 36 months' salary (wages /earnings)
- Earned pension right (Contributions made)
Each year for the 1st 15 years of contribution is rated 2.5%. The subsequent years attract a yearly rate of 1.125%. The Pension right ranges from 37.5% - 60%.
Pension Right Table
Years of Contribution
Pension Right (%)
Years of Contribution
36 & above
Pension Right (%)
Lump Sum Payment
The lump sum payment now falls under the Second Tier.
- What are the qualifying conditions for the Invalidity Pension?
- Must have made a minimum contribution of 12 months within the last 36 months prior to being an invalid.
- You must have been declared permanently invalid and incapable of any normal gainful employment by:
a. A qualified and recognized medical officer and
Certified by a Regional Medical Board with a SSNIT Doctor being a member.
- What are the qualifying conditions for the Survivor's Lumpsum Benefit.
Survivor's Lump Sum
This is paid to dependants of members under the following:
- When a member dies before retirement or
- When a pensioner dies before age 75
- Where a member dies having made at least twelve (12) months contribution within the last 36 months prior to his death, a lump sum payment of the earned pension of the deceased member for a period of 15 years will be paid. This is based on the present value discounted at the prevailing Treasury Bill rate or 10%. Whichever is lower however, will be paid to the member's nominated dependants.
- When the death of the member occurs before making the twelve (12) months contribution within the last 36 months a lump sum equal to his total contributions and interest at the rate of 75% of government Treasury bill rate, will be paid.
- What are the workers' obligation?
- Every worker who has an employer-employee relationship must be registered with the Scheme.
- Every worker should have only one (1) social security number.
- Use same social security number for your whole working life.
- The Social Security Number is not transferable.
- Change your dependants regularly; at least once every five (5) years.
- A member shall take steps to update or correct any missing or inaccurate information in the Statement of Account presented by SSNIT and support it with any relevant accurate document.
- Who is an employer?
An employer is the owner of an establishment or the person who has the ultimate control over the affairs of an establishment and with whom the worker entered into a contract of service or apprenticeship and who is responsible for the payment of his salary.
- What are the employer's obligation under Act 766
- Ensure all employees are registered under the Scheme.
- Make regular contributions on behalf of the workers to SSNIT.
- Deduct 5.5% of the workers salary every month and add 13% of worker's basic salary to make 18.5%.
- Out of the 18.5% the employer is to remit 13.5% to the Trust within 14 days of the ensuing month.
- 2.5% of the 13.5% paid by employer to SSNIT shall be transferred by the Trust to the National Health Insurance Authority.
- The employer shall accompany each contribution payment with a list of the workers indicating their social security numbers and the amount each worker is contributing – called the Contribution Report.
- Contribution reports must be submitted by the end of the month whether contributions are remitted to the Trust or not.
- Penalty of 3% per month shall be imposed on unpaid contribution. Additional penalty of 3% per month on the contributions plus penalty may be imposed if after written demand notice the employer fails to pay.
- Can the self-employed or any contributor fix any arbitrary salary for himself?.
No. The Act stipulates that minimum contributions must be made on the approved monthly minimum wage. The maximum contribution to the Trust shall not exceed 13.5% of a maximum amount to be determined by the Trust periodically in consultation with the NPRA.
- What is Pension?
Pension is a fixed sum paid regularly to a person, typically following retirement from service. It is a regular payment made during a person's retirement from an investment fund to which that person or the employer has contributed.
Pension is a type of retirement plan, usually tax exempt, wherein an employer makes contributions toward a pool of funds set aside for employees' future benefit. The pool of funds is then invested on the employees' behalf, allowing an employee to receive benefits upon retirement or disability.
- What is the National Pension Regulatory Authority?
- The National Pensions Regulatory Authority was established by Act 766 to regulate and monitor the operations of the three –tier scheme to ensure effective Administration.
- It has the capacity to sue and be sued and has perpetual succession.
- It also issues guidelines for investment of Pension Funds and ensures compliance with Act 766.
- Register Occupational, Provident Funds and Personal Pension Schemes.
- Set up standards, rules and guidelines for the management of Pension Funds.
- What is a Trust?
A trust, in its simplest form, is an arrangement under which assets are held and looked after on behalf of others called beneficiaries. In other words, it is a legal arrangement distinct from the plan sponsor where the contributions for the assets are deposited with the Trustee.
- Who is a trustee?
A trustee is a person who holds and looks after pension assets for the benefit of members and their dependants. Although assets are held in the name of the trustees, they do not belong to them.
- What is a Life Certificate
Also referred to as Certificate of Life is a certificate produced by a trusted entity or pensioner to confirm that the pensioner is still alive.
At SSNIT, Life Certificates are completed by pensioners aged 75 years and above and renewed every three (3) years to confirm the pensioner is still alive.
- Under the Social Security Pension Scheme
What information can you update?
You can update the following:
- Your beneficiary nominations.
- Your name.
- You can replace misplaced membership certificate.
- Your employer/SSNIT can update your financial statement after vetting by SSNIT
- You can update your postal address, telephone number and email.
The rate at which pension entitlement is built up relative to earnings per year of service in earnings-related schemes -for example, one-sixtieth of final salary.
Actuary: The person or entity whose main responsibility is to evaluate present and future pension liabilities in order to determine the financial solvency of the pension plan, following recognized actuarial and accounting methods.
A financial arrangement that pays stream of regular payments at a specified rate, which may have some provision for inflation-proofing, payable until some contingency occurs, usually the death of the beneficiary or a surviving dependent.
The present value of a stream of pension of 1 Ghana cedi per period for a specified number of periods at a fixed interest rate.
The value of the annuity payment relative to its lump-sum cost.
Average effective retirement age:
The actual average retirement age, taking into account early retirement and special regimes.
Beneficiary or Pensioner:
An individual who is receiving a benefit (including the plan member and dependants).
Benefit or Pension:
Payment made to a pension fund member (or dependants) after a contingency.
Benefit rate or replacement rate:
The ratio of the average pension to the average wage, which could be expressed as relative to the economy wide average wage or to the individual's specific average or final wage.
A limit on the amount of earnings subject to contributions
The amount (typically expressed as a percentage of the gross/ Basic wage) that is needed to be paid into the pension system periodically.
A pension plan with a guarantee by the insurer or pension agency that a benefit based on a prescribed formula will be paid.
A pension plan in which the periodic contribution is prescribed and the benefit depends on the contribution plus the investment return.
The historical process of changing demographic structure that takes place as fertility and mortality rates decline, resulting in an increasing ratio of older to younger persons.
An increase in a pension payment not specified by the pension scheme rules.
Retirement before reaching the legal (statutory) retirement age.
Earnings cap (ceiling):
A limit on the amount of earnings subject to contributions.
The accumulation of pension reserves that total 100 percent of the present value of all pension liabilities owed to current members.
accumulation of assets in advance to meet future pension liabilities.
Implicit pension debt:
The present value of pension payments streams to contributors( future pensioners), and current pensioners
Increases in benefits by reference to an index, usually of wages, although in some cases of average earnings.
Income transfers between different age cohorts of persons.
distribution. Income transfers within a certain age cohort of persons.
Mandatory retirement age:
A specific age where retirement is mandatory.
The change in the accrued pension between two periods.
A benefit that is paid only if the recipient's income falls below a certain level.
Minimum pension guarantee:
A guarantee provided by the government to bring pensions to some minimum level, possibly by "topping up" the capital accumulation needed to fund the pensions.
Nonfinancial (or notional) defined-benefit (plan):
A defined-benefit pension plan that is unfunded (except for a potential reserve fund).
Nonfinancial (or notional) defined-contribution (plan):
A defined-benefit pension plan that mimics the structure of (funded) defined-contribution plans but remains unfunded (With pay-as-you-go financing structure)
Normal retirement age:
The usual age at which employees become eligible for occupational pension benefits, excluding early-retirement provisions.
Notional (or nonfinancial) accounts:
Individual accounts where the notional contributions plus interest rates accrued are credited and determine the notional capital (that is, the liability to society).
Notional (or nonfinancial) capital:
The value of an individual account at a given moment that determines the value of annuity at retirement or the transfer value in case of mobility to another scheme or country.
Notional or nonfinancial interest rate:
The rate at which the notional accounts of notional defined-contribution plans are annually credited. It should be consistent with the financial sustainability of the unfunded scheme (potentially the growth rate of the contribution base).
Occupational pension scheme:
An arrangement by which an employer provides retirement benefits to employees.
Old-age dependency ratio:
The ratio of older persons to working-age individuals. The old-age dependency ratio may refer to the number of persons over 60 divided by, for example, the number of persons ages 15-59, the number of persons over 60 divided by the number of persons ages 20-59, and so forth.
In its strictest sense, a method of financing whereby current outlays on pension benefits are paid out of current revenues from an earmarked tax, often a payroll tax or contributions.
Pension coverage rate:
The number of workers actively contributing to a publicly mandated contributory or retirement scheme, divided by the estimated labor force or by the working-age population.
Pension lump sum:
A cash withdrawal from a pension plan, which in the case of some occupational pension schemes is provided in addition to an annuity. Also available from personal pension plans.
Usually defined as old-age retirement, survivor, death, and invalidity-disability payments based on past contribution records plus noncontributory, flat universal, or means-tested programs specifically targeting the old.
The portion of remuneration on which pension benefits and contributions are calculated.
The ability to transfer accrued pension rights between plans.
A fully funded, defined-contribution scheme in which funds are managed by the public sector.
The value of a pension as a proportion of a worker's wage during a base period, such as the last year or two before retirement or more, or the entire lifetime average wage. Also denotes the average pension of a group of pensioners as a proportion of the average wage of the group.
Statutory or legal retirement age:
The age at which men and women are permitted to start their pensions without meeting special pre-conditions or taking a reduced benefit. This is the normal retirement age written into pension statutes.
The opposite of the system dependency ratio: the number of workers required to support each pensioner.
Dependants of the deceased pensioners who are entitled to receive benefits (widows, widowers, children and others)
System dependency ratio:
The ratio of persons receiving pensions from a certain pension scheme divided by the number of workers contributing to the same scheme in the same period.
The process by which a pension system moves from being immature, with young workers contributing to the system, but with few benefits being paid out since the initial elderly have not contributed and thus are not eligible for benefits, to being mature, with the proportion of elderly receiving pensions relatively equivalent to their proportion of the population.
The amount by which a pension plan's payment obligations, including future benefits of members, exceed the present value of funds available to pay these obligations.
Universal flat benefit:
Pensions paid solely on the basis of age and citizenship, without regard to work or contribution records.
Valorization of earnings:
A method of revaluing earnings by predetermined factors such as total or average wage growth to adjust for changes in prices, wage levels, or economic growth. In pay-as-you-go systems, pensions are usually based on some percentage of average wage. This average wage is calculated over some period of time, ranging from full-career average to last salary. If the period for which earnings history enters into the benefit formula is longer than the last salary, the actual wages earned are usually revalued to adjust for these types of changes.
The minimum amount of time required to qualify for full and irrevocable ownership of pension benefits.
- Why Biometric?
In a bid to provide superior customer service delivery, SSNIT is implementing a new system to enhance its operations and services. As part of the new system implementation, a new technology known as the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) will be used to verify the identity of members and pensioners. This system stores the biometric information of all members and pensioners in a database for the verification of the identity of any member or pensioner at any SSNIT branch throughout Ghana.
In order for SSNIT to achieve this objective, it is necessary to collect the biometric information of all existing members and pensioners as part of the implementation of the new system.
- What is bio-information?
Bio information (biological information) is a range of physical or biological characteristics of a person like facial features (picture), finger prints, signature, eye retina and irises, voice patterns and hand measurements identification for authentication purpose.
- Why do we need the bio-information?
Bio-information is required or used for identification, verification and authentication of personal information. It helps to reduce human error in identification and reduces or eliminates the need to transcribe data speeding up information processing or management.
- How do you register?
You will have to produce your Social Security number(s) with any one of the following:
- National Identification Card
- Voters' ID
- Drivers Licence
- Employer/Employment ID
- National Health Insurance Card
- What do I do if I do not have any of the above documents?
SSNIT will grant you a short interview after which you will be registered.
- What is Biometric Registration?
Biometric Registration is the collection of bio-information on all members (Active Members, Inactive Members and Pensioners) through the live capturing of their Fingerprints, photographs and live signatures.
- What is the purpose of the biometric registration?
The main purpose of the biometric registration is to collect Biometric Information of all existing members and pensioners. It is also to generate thirteen (13) alphanumeric Social Security Numbers (SSNO's) for existing members with 8 Digit Social Security (SS) numbers.
- Why the Biometric Registration Project
This is to enable SSNIT to collect biometric information of all existing SSNIT members and pensioners for easy verification.
- What is the scope or the extent of work under the Biometric Registration?
The scope of the project defines the extent of work to be done and the expected features of the outcome. These are separated into Project Scope (extent) and Product Scope (elements of the outcome).
- Collecting Biometric Information of all existing members and pensioners.
- Generating thirteen (13) digits Social Security Numbers for existing members (Pensioners and Workers).
- Collecting additional Bio-Information on existing members as prescribed by the Biometric Registration Forms.
- Printing new membership certificate (Smartcards) for members and pensioners.
A member is deemed to have gone through the Biometric Registration if the following have been achieved;
- Ten Fingerprints of the members captured into the OBS. Except in cases where the member has lost some fingers or all fingers. This activity is mandatory.
- Photograph of the member that has been captured into the OBS. This activity is also mandatory.
- Signature of member that have been captured into the OBS. (Optional)
- All mandatory Bio-Information of the member as prescribed by the Biometric Registration Forms have been captured into the OBS.
- Members have been issued with new membership certificates which is a Smartcard.
- What is the duration of the project?
The project is to last for twenty-four months.
- Is there a target for the Biometric Registration project?
Yes! The target of the project is to collect Biometric and additional information of all existing members and Pensioners.
- How would the success of the Biometric Registration be measured?
The project would be deemed successful if a minimum of 80% of existing members and Pensioners have been covered as at the end of the project.
- How would the Biometric Registration project be organized?
The entire project would be modelled around teams in an organized structure with clear reporting and communication structures.
- How would the Biometric Registration be implemented?
The implementation of the project will adopt a phase by phase approach. The target groups would be segmented and handled under various phases of the project.
The first phase will target:
- Active members of the Scheme Aged 54 years and above.
- Inactive members of the Scheme Aged 54 years and above, and
- All pensioners.
The second phase will target:
- 50 years and above
- The rest of Pensioners
The third phase will target:
- The rest of the active members of the scheme.
- The rest of Inactive members.
- The rest of Pensioners.
It is believed that, at this stage most of the active members would have gone through the Biometric Registration successfully. This would basically be a mop-up stage. Frantic efforts would be made to reach and register all members that have not undergone the Biometric Registration Exercise.
The fourth phase will target:
a) Students in the tertiary institutions.
- Would the fourth phase be carried out right after the third one?
No! Phase four will be handled after the third phase of the project has duly been evaluated.
- How long will each phase of the project last?
Each phase of the project is anticipated to last for a minimum period of two (2) months. It is important to note that, conscious efforts would be made to reach out to the target groups under each of the phases. However, any existing member who presents himself /herself for the Biometric Registration either through the fixed or mobile unit would be served depending on availability of resources.
- How does the Trust plan to register members nationwide?
The broad framework and guidelines for the project shall be issued to the Area and Branch Implementation Teams. The teams shall develop their programme ACTION PROGRAMMES of actions which WILL BE dependent on the number of members, active workers on the Controller and Accountant General's payroll located within the area operation of the Branch & establishments assigned and shall align with the broad framework.
The number of SSNIT pensioners to be registered by the various Branches would be determined by the assistance of SSNIT Pensioners' Associations and the Retired SSNIT Staff Association (RESSA).
- How would SSNIT reach out to all Contributors and Pensioners for the Biometric Registration?
This would also be done in the four (4) phases.
Phases I & II
- Active members would be contacted through their employers. SSNIT will contact the Human Resource Managers of various establishments and schedule appointments for the exercise.
- Physical contacts, e-mails and telephone calls may also be made to facilitate the process.
- Voluntary contributors and inactive members would be reached through public advertisements and notices.
- These would direct them to the nearest SSNIT Office for the Biometric Registration (BR) Exercise.
- Pensioners would be reached through the SSNIT Pensioners' Association and the Retired SSNIT Staff Association (RESSA).
- What other way and medium of advertisement would be used to inform the public of the various locations where the Biometric Registration would take place?
In addition to what would be done under phase I& II, Public Advertisements /Notices would be made directing all members to the nearest SSNIT office and selected points for the BR exercise.
These Advertisements/Notices would be done through
- Print media (Newspapers & Magazines)
- Electronics media (Radio & Television )
- SMS to all mobile phone users in the country through the TELCOS
- Internet (SSNIT website online Newspapers and social networking sites)
- SSNIT Contact Centre
- Student members would be contacted through institutions.
- SSNIT will contact the Administration of the various institutions and schedule appointments for the exercise.
- Internal advertisement and notices would be issued to get members ready for the exercise.
Members under the informal sector scheme would be contacted with the assistance of the Branch Offices of the Informal Sector Scheme.
- How would SSNIT Staff and Team Member taking part in the registration be dressed?
T-shirts advertising the BR exercise would be provided to all SSNIT staff to be worn on Mondays and Fridays throughout the duration of the Exercise. Team members involved with the exercise would wear their T-shirt for the entire duration of the exercise.
- Would there be public education on the Biometric Registration?
Yes, Management would direct all Branch Managers to educate employers and employees on Biometric Registration exercise.
- How else would SSNIT draw the attention of members to the Biometric Registration?
SSNIT will install marquees in some busy commercial areas, such as Shopping Malls to attract and encourage members who have not undergone the Biometric Registration exercise to go to the nearest SSNIT Branch to be registered.
- How would Target Group under each phase be handled?
- Under phases I &II Biometric Registration of the active members would be carried out at the establishment using the Mobile Biometric Units.(MBU)
- Under phases I & II Biometric Registration of Voluntary Contributors would be carried out at the various SSNIT branches using the Fixed Units.
- Under phase I &II Biometric Registration of inactive members would be carried out at the various SSNIT branches using the Fixed Units.
- Under phase I &II Biometric Registration of all pensioners shall be carried out at selected points using Mobile Biometric Registration units. This would be done in collaboration with the Pensioners Associations.
- Under phases III Biometric Registration of the active members, inactive members and Pensioners would be carried out through the Fixed Units at the various SSNIT Branches and through the Mobile Biometric Units at the Various SSNIT Branches and through the and selected sites (Customer Clinics).
- Under phases IV Biometric Registration of Students and Members under the informal Scheme would be carried out at the Institutions and selected sites using the MBU's.
- How would existing members be identified for Biometric Registration?
The current system used to verify the identity of members is by Thumb Print verification. Considering the numbers involved and the time constraint, it might not be convenient to manually verify each existing members before undergoing the Biometric Registration.
To ensure fast and less tedious verification of the members before Biometric Registration, a back office activity would be carried out to further authenticate the ownership of Social Security Numbers (SSNO's). The verification would be in various levels.
- What happens if a Member intends changing his/her Bio- Data?
Where a Member / Pensioner intend to make changes to his/her bio data, the existing update procedures will be activated. Membership card would only be printed after the necessary updates have been made.
Where a Member /Pensioner demands a proper spelling of his /her name, photocopies/scanned copies of the relevant national identity cards bearing the correctly spelt name would be attached to the Biometric Registration Form (E.g. Ablorh and Ablor or Nimoh or Nimo). The correction would be done before approval for card printing.
Members requesting for a change in Date of Birth must go through the existing procedures.
All other challenges with respect to the member's bio-data not identified here must be resolved before the production of the membership card.
- What is expected of all Social Security members?
SSNIT is appealing to all contributors to cooperate with the biometric registrars and SSNIT officials for a smooth exercise.